View Full Version : Texture Painting (beginner courses)

09 September 2011, 11:14 AM
[Not sure if this would get more attention here, or in the texture section...]

Hi everyone,

I was wondering what might be the best courses are for learning how to texture, namely, texture painting.

I was looking at the upcoming cgworkshop course in Mari texturing but I'm not quite sure whether or not this course is suited towards me, as this is film texturing although the same techniques learned could be used in other painting programs. Some of the "what you'll learn" section describes using certain Mari Modules I'd unlikely require to learn, though.

As a beginner, is this course for me? Other suggestions?

Heck, I can't even get a test head in 3D-Coat painted that well. Blending of skin detail doesn't blend too well, hair is another realm to me and lips...oh gee, they're impossible right now for me to get right, unless I project a photo on.

It also feels weird texture painting with a mouse, but using a pen tablet and staring at the monitor would certainly not be any different in terms of feel because it's essentially being used the same way. I was looking at a wacom cintiq 12", and some alternative 'cheaper' ones, which I'd prefer to look at and paint on directly but perhaps I'm jumping ahead of myself.


09 September 2011, 06:31 PM
Gnomon has some online texturing classes, maybe those would be more appropriate for you. You can check them out here (

That class you linked to looks more like it's geared towards learning Mari than learning how to texture.

From the wording in your post it sounds like you have one particular area in mind to concentrate on, specifically hand painting textures from scratch. There's no shame in projecting photos or using them as your base, as long as the end result looks good. I've heard recruiters (specifically from game companies) talk about how strange it is that a lot of students seem to think there's some kind of reason it's desirable to hand paint everything from scratch - there's not. You just end up wasting a lot of time. So don't sweat it if you can't make it look perfect from scratch, I don't think many people really work that way, regardless of what they are making textures for.

When people say "texture painting," most of the time they are going to be incorporating photos into their work even if it's just to add some noise or details or whatever. I'm pretty positive this goes for film, feature animation, games, etc.

As for the mouse/tablet stuff, have you ever tried using a tablet before? The higher end ones (like the Intuos) are actually quite nice and some people prefer them to the Cintiqs even for detailed digital painting. I think you would find that the difference between a mouse and tablet is phenomenal and a Cintiq isn't really necessary.

09 September 2011, 05:08 AM
Thanks for the reply.

I know that photo projections can be used, and I'm not afraid to use them either, but I'd like to learn how to texture paint without depending on photo projections especially for non-human creatures or structures.

Looking back at the deus ex cover story it was said they used no realistic photographs to aid in their texturing. This is what I want to achieve.

That actually raises the question with myself, do I know what type of photo projections to use and where to use them, colour schemes, different brushes and so forth? Perhaps not that well, and maybe an entire foundation course to outline this would be better for me. I'm not artistic, but I want to learn to texture, if that makes any sense.

I'll scratch the wacom idea, but I did find a wiimote hack that allows you to use an infrared pen directly on your screen, while the wiimote tracks the cursor and you can use a left click on the pen to paint. While it doesn't have any sensitivity, that can be dialed up/down in the painting program as I currently do with my mouse. With this I can use my entire 23" of space, rather than a 12" cintiq for a load less cash.

Edit: Would these be of help?

09 September 2011, 05:46 PM
Yeah, those would probably be helpful too. I've found that the Gnomon videos are better when you already have a pretty good understanding of how to do something, but want to see approaches other artists take. They tend to focus less on things like what keys to press, etc and more on theory. Not sure about those particular videos though.

I have a feeling things like what brushes to use when, etc are something most people figure out on their own with time and practice. If you aren't really familiar with brushes and such in Photoshop maybe some classes on Photoshop would be a good place to start too. I believe Gnomon also has some videos on color theory (and I'm sure others exist too) if you want to learn about color schemes and stuff. Honestly I don't think any texturing courses are going to cover this sort of thing, they will assume previous knowledge in these areas.

We actually set up that same wiimote hack here and it's not a good substitution for a Cintiq. Not sure if someone has figured out a better way since we tried it, but it only had a couple levels of pressure sensitivity (by a couple I mean less than five) and was pretty impractical as far as overall setup. Another solution you might consider is setting up a projector to project onto a larger sized tablet so it's kind of like you're drawing directly on the screen.

To be honest, though, I've never heard of anyone being noticeably better when able to draw directly on the screen than they are when using a tablet. A tablet is a little strange at first but it's a vast improvement over a mouse.

09 September 2011, 05:57 PM
Ah alright, thanks. I'll look a little deeper into resources.

As for the wiimote hack, is your only issue the sensitivity? If so, I don't see why it's impractical to try. Sensitivity isn't really what I care about, that can be dialed up/down within the actual painting program it's self. The wiimote hack isn't meant to replace a tablet's sensitivity level, just move the cursor based on where the IR is and "paint" on that position like a mouse or normal tablet.

In fact, I'd go as far as avoiding the whole bluetooth and whiteboard software set up by getting a VMarker ( which uses the default HID mouse driver provided in windows, and is USB connected.

It's pretty much personal preference, right? I can borrow a wacom from college to try, though.

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